MORRISTOWN - Another year, more expectations.
During the past few years, Drew Greenwood has turned the Union Local girls' basketball program into a respected one that claimed the 2010-11 OVAC Class 3A Wheeling Hospital Tournament title. The Jets' repeat bid came up a but shy last winter.
This season won't be any different as 11 players return, starting with a trio of seniors in Kayla Doty (5-foot-10), Dallas Montag (5-7) and Carlee Stiles (5-7).
''This senior class has demonstrated the work ethic they've displayed the last couple of seasons ... all-out, nothing held back,'' Greenwood said. ''They've raised the level of play for everyone else.''
Doty's status for the early portion of the season still isn't clear, according to Greenwood. She sustained an ACL injury.
''Kayla is working really hard to get back in the lineup," Greenwood said. ''She's running and jumping rope. She really worked hard over the summer to become a solid player. We're still expecting some big things from her.
''This is the first time in a couple of years that we've had an injury that has set us back, but we'll be alright.''
Montag is a dead-eye shooter from beyond the arc, while Stiles is a role player that has steadily improved.
The junior class consists of a trio of talented performers in Cori Medley (5-8), Cecelia Rucker (5-9) and Abby Collins (5-10). Five sophomores who saw extensive time last year include Mikayla Twarog (5-6), Josie Marshall (5-6), Mikayla Patton (5-11), Kylie Russell (5-3) and Amanda Swallie (5-5). A three-member freshmen class rounds out the varsity roster in Alli Delaney (5-8), Hannah Nagy (5-7) and Saige Butler (5-8).
''We've got 14 girls on the varsity and any one of them can play at any given time,'' Greenwood said. ''Usually, it takes a while for us to get going, but at this point in the season, I feel pretty good about our team. I feel we are much deeper than we've been in the past.
''The team chemistry seems to be there already and everyone is working hard together. It makes for an enjoyable time right now.
''We just need to take care of the little things. Everyone has to take care of themselves at this point. We need to concentrate on following through with the fundamentals and getting to where we feel confident in what we are trying to do.''
Medley returns as the scoring leader, as well as the floor leader. She's also an excellent shooter from outside the arc and penetrates and dishes off.
''Cori is really coming into her own," Greenwood said. ''She works really hard.''
Collins and Rucker should provide valuable minutes and outputs from the middle.
''Both of those girls are in supportive roles,'' Greenwood said. ''Every player on our team has a different strength and a different role.''
Greenwood said Marshall and Twarog, along with Delaney, Butler and Nagy will all see viable playing time.